There are plenty of things that, if you dwell too long on them, could start to depress anyone involved in making a living out of conferences and events.
A looming VAT rise; implications of the Tour Operators’ Margin Scheme (TOMS); government cutbacks in spending, not to mention the general state of the economic environment.
So, it is good to see some new thinking and new approaches, such as Conference Leeds’ targeting the buyers’ market in Milan for business.
The bureau in Leeds realised the city had forged good manufacturing links with Milan and decided to go with the grain of the efforts already put in by the local chamber of commerce, which had forged direct trade links over recent years.
An invitation to 14 Italian planners and 14 meetings industry journalists last week resulted in two delegate groups of 200 set to come to Leeds next year, according to Conference Leeds.
EventUK, held last month at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, was another good recent barometer for sorting the optimists from the pessimists.
On the negative side, many UK destinations appeared to stay at home this year. However, those exhibitors that stood their ground and worked the show had clearly followed the tips on how to exhibit effectively, raising their game and stealing the show and the business that was available.
Making a stand and standing out need not cost an arm and a leg.
One destination that is usually to the fore with stand innovation at our industry shows is Experience Nottinghamshire. A new, simple stand, modelled on the Sherwood Forest theme, but with new flat screen technology for visitor data capture embedded in the ‘trees’, caught the eye.
We all would like to think the glass is half full, but don’t wait for someone else to come around with the refill.